I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve made this salad. It actually appeared the first time on my old blog, but since I love it so much I really wanted to share it here with you again, in a slightly dressed up version. It has all the flavors reminiscent of Christmas: saffron, cinnamon, pomegranate, kale and brussel sprouts. All quickly assembled in the wink of an eye, and conveniently served in a large bowl. This salad is designed to work as a light side dish, but more often than not it becomes the centre piece of the dining table (or maybe it’s just me who always help myself to a third, fourth serving…). My original recipe only contains kale, but inspired by this Brussel Slaw I thought I’d add some brussel sprouts to this one too to create a little variation in textures and flavors. I also added cashew butter to the dressing to make it a little creamier. You can of course skip the cashew butter if you like or if you don’t have it at home, and go for a lighter dressing. After all, that’s how I’m used to enjoy this salad over the past year.
The candied almonds deserves a note on its own. I mean, really!! I suggest you double the recipe right away – just do it! – to make sure you have enough candied nuts to nibble on throughout the day, and preferably also to sprinkle on top of your breakfast oatmeal or yoghurt tomorrow. So. good. (I’ve had second parties confirming this). The trick is to switch off the oven and leave the nuts in there with the hatch slightly open to slooowly dry and cool – just like with the seed crackers! – that will make them super crunchy.
Also, the dressing is one of my all time favorites. The combination of lemon and saffron! Just sayin’.
If you want to make this salad a little more filling, it is lovely along with some cooked millet, roasted squash and perhaps a couple of chunks fried halloumi cheese. My parents sometimes eat it with lemon fried salmon fillet, and later this week I have a recipe for Almond “Meat”balls planned for you, which I think will pair nice with this salad and the Beetroot Pesto/Hummus-Thingy from last week.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and free of refined sugar.
serves 4 as a side dish
6 large kale leaves, stems removed
12 brussel sprouts, outer leaves removed
Lemon Saffron Dressing
2 small organic lemons, zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp agave syrup (or runny honey)
2 tbsp rapseed oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp cashew butter
0,5 g ground saffron
sea or mountain salt
1 heaping dl / 1/2 cup almonds
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of fine grain salt, e.g himalaya salt
dash of rapseed oil (around 1/3 tbsp)
flaked sea salt & coconut sugar to sprinkle on top
Seeds from one pomegranate
Notes: 1) Cashew butter can be omitted. I use it for creaminess, but it is not super important for the taste of the dressing. If you make a larger batch of dressing, you can substitute cashew butter with a couple of raw cashew nuts and mix it along with the rest of the ingredients in a high speed blender (I however find this difficult when making too little). 2) If you’re not vegan, the agave syrup can be substituted with runny honey. Then use a little more, about 2 1/2 tbsp.
Heat oven to 175’C/347’F. Coarsely chop almonds. In a bowl, combine first almonds, cinnamon and salt, then add rapseed oil and agave syrup. Spread nut mixture on a parchment paper on a baking tray. Sprinkle some flaked sea salt and coconut sugar on top for extra crunch. Toast in oven for about 10 min, folding once or twice. Careful not to burn the nuts! You’ll see when the syrup on the parchment paper turns golden brown – that’s when you want to turn off the oven. Leave the baking tray inside the oven with the hatch lightly open (you can put a kettle holder in between), to allow the nuts to cool and dry slowly. Let cool completely before breaking into crunchy pieces.
Rinse kale thoroughly. Remove stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse brussel sprouts. Pluck the outer, dirty leaves and discard those. Finely slice the sprouts and combine with kale in a large bowl. Set aside.
Separate pomegranate seeds from flesh by cutting it into four pieces and carefully “folding” them open, picking out the seeds with your thumbs. Avoid using your nails or you will break them and have blood red splatter all over your face. You can do this in a bowl of water to avoid splatter. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the white flesh will be floating making it easy to separate. However this will remove some of the juice, so best is to simply be careful.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Set aside.
All the above steps can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for several days (except nuts which are to be stored in room temperature).
Before serving, combine kale & brussel salad with lemon saffron dressing and garnish with pomegranate seeds and candied almonds. Enjoy!
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